When I was 7 years old, I wrote down "Carl Larsson poster" on my list for Santa. Yes, I was a slightly odd kid (and no, I was not disappointed). Then in high school, when asked to do a report on an artist from history, instead of choosing someone like Van Gogh or Michelangelo from the list of suggestions, I again chose the (somewhat?) lesser known Swedish artist. To this day, I love his work and count it among my inspirations.
But what I've come to realize is that his wife Karin Larsson was just as an important player in his art as Carl himself A trained artist (they met at a Scandinavian artist colony outside Paris), Karin gave up painting to raise the couples' 8 children. But she continued to express her creativity throughout the beautiful home she created for them -- Lilla Hyttnas.
She filled it with colorful needlepoint pillows, painted furniture, plants, woven textiles, and more. Her style was very avant-garde for the time. (And still completely gorgeous today, don't you think?!) It's the home she created, along with the children and Karin herself, who became the main subject of Carl's paintings, and made them as well loved as they are.
It's been a dream of mine to one day visit Lilla Hyttnas in person. There's a chance our little family might be able to make the trip this fall. I know I shouldn't get my hopes up too much, but I am beyond excited!
Photos and images from the official Carl Larsson website.